Winter camping is tempting but it becomes a challenge with every extra day. Apart from icy winds, deep snow, and icy toes, you grapple with the problem of being unable to rest at night with ease. One of the issues is respiratory moisture that builds up inside. Imagine waking up in the safety of your best 4 season tent from the snow fall created by the water on the tent canvas surface. In addition, a damp environment penetrates the gear and damages your health. Instead of a fascinating adventure, you’ll find a life-threatening expedition whose only goal seems to be to experience the dangers and lack of campfires in cold seasons.
Hot tent is a solution for camping lovers. A ‘hot tent’ is a shelter suitable for setting up and running a stove, which helps with cooking, heating the place, and drying clothes. Furthermore, the stove allows the trip to be extended to several days or weeks during cold seasons without damaging your gear or freezing to death. With the stove, your tent turns into a real home, perfect for rest after a long and tireless walk.
However, installing a stove is a difficult process. The key is to prepare all the materials needed to make sure a stove is running properly and apply the necessary precautions to stay safe inside the shelter. In the article, we discuss the reality behind amazing photos on social media and the safe way to start a hot tent.
Introducing hot tents
Let’s assume you have the right tent for a stove, which means it’s made of solid material like canvas or polycotton, is well ventilated, and has a hole for a flue pipe, known as a stove jack. However, if your tent is not ready to include a wood burning stove, check out the last part, where we discuss the DIY on tent remodeling.
Here we talk about the details of operating a stove and the steps to make it right and safe for you. But before getting excited and lighting the fire, consider all the preparatory steps, which require the use of a stove.
Preparation: the work behind the scenes
There are several things to remember before installing a stove.
- You will need to stop to settle early, a couple of hours before sunset. Setting up a tent, finding wood, and lightning the stove will take time, and you don’t want to get caught by a darker trying to fit the pipe in the stove jack.
- Prepare enough firewood to feed the stove. The wood is likely to be quite moist, so you will need to gather a proper tail for firing the stove. Moreover, at night, even wood gets wet, so prepare the right amount in the evenings and in the morning.
- Be prepared to take care of the stove constantly after you light it. You can’t put some wood inside and deal with other tasks. Without a constant supply of wood, it will go out, and the tireless process of starting guns will start again. Moreover, never leave the stove running after you go to sleep. Carbon dioxide has a high chance of intoxication, so if you are tired, better not install the stove at all than do it wrong.
A closer look at the stove
If you are looking for a stove, there is a wide range to choose from. We will take the Gstove as an example of affordable and high quality camping stoves:
- small and portable, relatively light compared to other stoves;
- cheaper than glamping stoves;
- with a spark arrestor on a flue pipe;
- all parts fit inside the stove cylinder so you can save space. However, the details will get dirty, which will be a problem if you want to use the stove a second time in one trip;
- you need short pieces of wood, so you will need an incubator or splinter;
- it has a scraper that helps push wood further for better drafting and ash scraping;
- has drying racks to dry shoes. But remember to flip shoes, because the stove is extremely hot.
Under the stove
You can only put the stove inside the tent on the canvas. The surface heats up to high temperatures and will damage your shelter or even set it on fire. That’s why you need to think of something to put under the stove. Buying a heat mat is a simple option, but you can be a little creative. Instead of buying new, try using something you already have, such as a large piece of tile or rock you’ve found in the woods. In addition, the stone will retain heat after you turn off the stove and keep the tent warm for longer.
Running a stove has some complexities that you only understand in the field, often without the means to solve these problems. We list several items that help with the operation of the stove and ensure that you are not stuck in the middle of anywhere with the piece of inactive metal.
- Horizontal. It’s better than a hatchet because you can use it to consider tent poles to the frozen ground and split the wood.
- Saw. It helps to deal with large trunks and is excellent for bones if such circumstances come into their own.
- Work gloves. They are essential to save your arms from burns because the stove is very hot. Plus, you buy them once, and they last forever and keep you safe in various situations.
- Bucket of trees. It helps hold logs in one place and keeps the tent clean inside.
- Firefighter. Hopefully you never need to use it, but it will save your life and property if the time comes.
- Tongs. Be handy when you need to flip or move logs or anything else.
- Iron pan. We recommend a Field Cast Iron Skillet that is easy to wash and perfect for cooking without food sticking to the surface. Furthermore, try to warm it up a bit and place it on the bottom of the sleeping bag. It works better than any heater.
A wood burning stove is dangerous if set incorrectly. There is a risk of anonymous fire and carbon dioxide intoxication. A spark arrestor, fire extinguisher, and heat mat mentioned above will protect you, but nothing can save you from reckless actions. Two things to remember:
- Ventilation. Tents are usually designed in such a way to ensure a constant flow of air. However, you will need to check that before using a stove. Carbon dioxide poisoning is quite real, and you don’t want to drift for it.
- Turn off the stove before going to sleep. Otherwise, you may not wake up at all. If you feel tired, don’t light the stove or turn it off earlier. In addition, the residual heat should keep the tent warm for part of the night.
Re-make tent to fit stove
We do not recommend doing it without previous experience or an expert near you. The wrong fit can cause fire or intoxication, so consider buying a stove-compatible tent or using the services of a professional company such as Specialist Canvas or Attwoolls Outdoors. If you’re sure of your skills or want a general idea, read on.
Basically, you will need to make a hole in the face of the tent to put through a pipe. If you have a Gstove, it comes with a modular stove jack and fits perfectly in any angle. In the beginning, you will need to cut the rubber part of the stove jack to hold the pipe. After that, place the stove near the side of the tent, measure where on the surface of the tent the tube should go, and mark it with a pencil. The next step is to place the stove jack on the marked circle, which will be relieved by the help of the second person. After sealing the stove jack on the tent, cut a hole in the canvas to put a pipe through. Make sure the tube does not touch any part of the canvas to prevent irritation. The last thing is to assemble the entire pipe and light the stove.
Try hot tenting wisely and consult companies that support RBM trading to find the best gear for your purposes.